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Lexus ES 300/ES 330



  • mind18mind18 Posts: 5
    Anyone have digital photos to share of their new ES 300? Espically if you have it in black...:)
  • dsemmendsemmen Posts: 12
    I have been considering the new ES300, which I really like. But, I just drove a new 02 Camry and it is one nice car. And, can be topped out with every option including NAV (same one in ES300) for about $6000 less. The only thing you are not getting for that money, which would be in the ES300 is the wood trim and the Lexus name plate. Plus, the Camry has two inches more leg room in the back. And, they both share the same body and parts. I really like the ES300, but is it $6000 better then a similar equipped camry! I just read the Edmunds review of the Camry and they even made reference to these facts as well, stating "why would someone forego a Camry for an ES300 for thousands more"
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    "Most people" will have a hard time time finding $6000 worth of visible improvement between a loaded 2002 Camry XLEV6 and an ES300.
    They will see improvement in the Lexus, but it may or may not be worth the price difference to them.
    When you sell the Lexus, you will get "some" of the extra money you spent back in resale, so it really won't cost the entire difference the MSRP shows (unless you can get the Camry near invoice and have to pay near full MSRP sticker for the Lexus).

    Some of the benefits are subjective like the prestige of driving a Lexus vs a Toyota and that is worth whatever you feel like it is worth.
    The styling is "different." Some will prefer the wild and daring ES300 styling and some will prefer the more conservative Camry styling. The interior is higher quality in the ES300 and there are some options available only on the Lexus. If you don't happen to want any of the exclusive ES300 options that are not available on the Camry, then getting the Lexus is harder to justify.
    You can expect better and more expensive service for Lexus dealers, but there won't be as many dealers to choose from so it might be inconvenient to drive to the Lexus dealer for a routine oil changes or warranty repairs.
  • gambhirgambhir Posts: 64
    Rebelsk-you cannot get AVS as reported earlier unless you order both Nav and mark levinson--this is a factory requirement--check for verification

    Dsemmen--I think the saying "you get what you pay for" holds true here
    Lexus has a superior warranty. superior service and offers the niceties like rainsensing wipers, sunshades, mark levinson, superior wood and chrome trim, sunshade, AVS, etc--also once the bargaining begins, you will be a able to get a fully loaded ES for much less-there is more margin on the lexus so you have more room to negotiate

    Lenscap wrote a noice post while back highlighting the exclusive features

    ES is far quieter too and you get more ponies even if 20 or so than the camry

    No one turns around to look at a camry--they surely will at the Lexus

    My feeling is --it is worth every penny and a great bargain than other competitors
  • dsemmendsemmen Posts: 12
    Thanks guys for the opinions. I really appreciate them. If anyone else has anything to add, please jump in. Thanks.
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    "Far quieter" is an extreme statement. The 2002 XLE V6 Camry is very quiet. Even if the ES300 is a few decibels lower, it is hard to notice.
    The styling is very subjective. Some people are appalled at what Lexus did with the exterior of the new model. A lot of people may need to wait for it to "grow on them."
    The only bad thing about the Camry styling is that it looks too much like an Avalon.
    The Lexus warranty is longer and better, but you can buy a Toyota extended warranty for the Camry that will be longer than the Lexus warranty if are planning to keep the car long enough for the longer warranty to be an issue.
    You can get better service with the Lexus, but if the nearest Lexus dealer is 20 miles or more away and a Toyota dealer is 5 miles away, then it is more of a hassle than it's worth.
    The interior is nicer in the Lexus and the engine had a little more power and that is where you can see some of the money went.
    He will need need to drive the cars back to back to decide.
    I am sure almost anyone would prefer driving the Lexus (unless they cannot stand the new exterior styling), but they might not like it so much more to pay the price premium.
  • gambhirgambhir Posts: 64
    In the brochure and advertised pictures, the glass of the ES seems to be heavily tinted--Does tinted glas come standard--I mean really dark glass--If so great--If not, what is te best way to tint them with approx. cost
  • gambhir,

    The glass is lightly tinted, and according to Lexus, blocks out almost 100% of UV rays. Outside looking in, it does darken the interior a decent amount. It's not dark glass though. The brochures and advertised pictures just make it look really dark because it gives a nicer effect (reflection, etc.).
    If you want a really dark tint, you should scope out your area for auto shops that specialize in tinting car windows, then get quotes from these places. What you don't want to do is try to do it yourself with off-the-shelf tint film. I wouldn't do it with any car, let alone a Lexus. If you've seen a car with messed up tint, you'll know what I mean. If you manage to get the film onto the window properly, after some time, it'll start warping anyways.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Wife and I looked over the ES300 yesterday. Looked over a loaded '02 Camry a couple weeks ago. Some big differences favoring the ES300 for me included the 5-speed automatic and more powerful engine in the ES300. The interior was also much nicer. So is the warranty and the roadside assistance.

    Another huge difference favoring the Lexus is the dealership, the buying, owning and servicing experience. The difference between the dealers was night and day. I felt like cattle in the cramped, ugly, noisy Toyota dealer. Salespeople were pushy and unfriendly. They didn't have a brochure or couldn't find one. Salesperson knew next to nothing about the car. The Lexus dealership was like heaven. Open, airy, beautiful, quiet, relaxed. The salesperson was friendly, not pushy, and very knowledgeable about the product. He sat us down to discuss colors and options. Gave us a nice brochure. Quick tour of the dealership. He didn't appear to mind that I wasn't quite done looking at other cars.

    I can only imagine what it is like getting your Camry serviced versus the ES300. Nice loaner car versus hitchhiking?
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    It has already been mentioned several times that the interior is nicer and the warranty is better.
    The Lexus dealers have fancier buildings and usually better salespeople. Not always. The Lexus salesperson I saw was arrogant trying to sell a 2001 ES300 that I did not even like that much, so I did not even bother negotiating the price and just walked out. The Toyota dealerships I saw did not have cramped, dirty, showrooms or waiting rooms and were not particularly ugly.
    For people who do not want to research the cars ahead of time to find out about the options and colors before setting foot in the dealership, Lexus will usually have more knowledgeable salespeople.
    It just isn't worth $6000 extra to most people to look at marble floors in a Lexus lobby.
    Hitchhiking? Most car dealers have courtesy shuttles that will take you to work or home.
    Loaner cars at the Lexus are "subject to availability" not guaranteed.
    Anyway, rental cars are available either at the Toyota dealership or from a local agency (like Enterprise) that can pick you up at the dealer if you don't want to ride in the the shuttles. I been to a car dealer that had an Enterprise rental office right on the dealership grounds. $6000 pays for a lot of car rentals. Your could rent a limo each time and still come out ahead.
  • djlinkdjlink Posts: 3
    I've owned a fully loaded camry and an es300. Both dealerships were excellent, that said it would be tough to go back to the camry after having the es300 and experiencing the Lexus service. If you haven't had a lexus and don't think it's worth the extra that is understandable, but if you do spring for the car I doubt that you will regret it. I've got about 3k miles on a new gs300 and love it.
  • Lexus service is nice, but we also pay for it in terms of much higher service prices. So I don't regard it as an advantage of buying a Lexus over a Toyota. If you consider it a privilege to pay more for a better service experience, then it could be a factor.
  • How much is everyone getting their '02 ES300's for??

  • I recently purchased a ES300 with ML stereo, HID, Leather, Sunroof, Wood steering. MSRP was 36,200 and I paid 35,400. It is only a week old, but I'm very happy with the car so far. I'm not sure if that information helps. Good luck shopping.
  • gambhirgambhir Posts: 64
    Congrats--what color?
    i am surprised you have the ML stereo--don't think tey are producing it in isolation-comes only bundled with nav for now--did you custom order it?
  • rebelskrebelsk Posts: 65
    How do you like the Levinson System so far?
  • cavescaves Posts: 13
    The Bridgestone Turanza have a treadwear rating of 180.

    My 2002 ES has Toyo Proxes with a treadwear rating of 200.
  • cavescaves Posts: 13
    The GS 300 Chrome wheels cost us $ 850 installed.

    I did consider the Toyota Camry, we had a 1999 Toyota Solara which has a interior very similar in style to the 2002 ES 300. The interior of the Lexus was more inviting than the Toyota.

    I love good sound and the Mark Levinston stereo imaging was superior to the JBL system in the Toyota. The Toyota and Lexus dealers are just across the street from each other. The Lexus dealers provide more flexible service. M-F 24 hrs a day service and normal Sat and Sun. service, free car loaners, on-site maintenance at my job or home for no extra charge. If I decide to wait while my car is being serviced, they have computers available with internet access or a massage chair for a nap. My Lexus dealer really treats you well.

    I got nothing at the Toyota dealer and still charged high prices.
  • parnolaparnola Posts: 140
    I love the sound of your lexus dealer - what city are you in? Here in Dayton, OH our Lexus dealer gives great service, but the service hours are very confining (only open until 5:00pm M-F, closed Sat and Sun). No internet access either!
  • cavescaves Posts: 13
    I took a four day trip which covered over 1,100 miles from the San Francisco Bay Area to Los Angeles. These are my observations:

    Likes: Quiet cruiser and great ride (standard suspension). Handles well, the chassis feels solid without float. If it had better tires or wider tires it would perform even better. Averaged 26 mpg at a average speed of 62 mph.

    Dislikes: Accessing the dead foot pedal, my leg would contact the parking brake pedal.

    I would not order the wood steering wheel again. Hard on the hands since nothing is padded. If you hands get sweaty the moving back from wood to leather creates slippery feeling when going through curves.

    Navigation system is useless sometimes. The normal route from SF to LA is to take Interstate 5. The Nav. System avoided the interstates or highways no matter in Quick or Short or Alternative. We decided to follow the Nav. System instructions exactly. It normally takes 7 hrs, it took 9.5 hours. I experienced more of California than I ever knew. In LA area it would crisscross a freeway 4-5 times in a 10 mile area by following city streets. Whoever program this system does not like freeways.

    Word of advice: Get to the city first then activate your destination. Then it works great.

    The ML audio system is good for FM, very good on CDs, but AM radio, talk radio the speakers and interior panels would buzz. Turning the bass control down would help but something is wrong when they designed the system. Go to FM or CD it sounds clean.

    Suggestions for 2003 ES 300:

    The Optitron instrument panel lights are great, (white light), but the lights in the center console are that green-yellow, looks old fashioned. Use white light for the center console controls. My 2000 Mitsubishi Galant has white lights throughout the interior looks consistent.

    A place for parking lot tickets or cards. Kept looking for places to place cards or pens

    Cover the instrument gauge area completely with wood instead of partially.

    A little more engine power. Felt a little weak on the inclines.

    Just my thoughts.
  • cavescaves Posts: 13
    My Lexus dealer is Magnussens' Lexus of Fremont, California.

    They are one of the largest Lexus dealers in Northern California.

    I guess I'm lucky,
  • cavescaves Posts: 13
    Forgot one more suggestion for 2003 ES 300

    Place ex tenders in the sun visors. The sun visors do not have ex tenders on them to block sun light for driver or passenger side windows.

    In the pursuit of perfection
  • mvatz1mvatz1 Posts: 1
    I am considering a 1998 Certified ES 300 with 30k miles. Also considering a 2002 Maxima GLE or Accura TL 3.2. I know they are very different cars, but I'd appreciate any input on experience with the pre-owned: service, longevity, etc.
  • Caves; The sun visors can be adjusted. Swing the visor to the side window and pull back. It will go back about 6". On a test drive I did just that and said to myself "What a cheap departure from the little plastic sun visor extenders on my 2000 Solara." Hope this helps.
  • parnolaparnola Posts: 140
    I had a '97 ES which I bought certified with 32k miles and drove it to the 90k mark. Only problem I ever had was the leather looked worn on the drivers seat which they fixed under the warranty. It was a great car, though the new ES seems to really push the car into a higher class - I test drove it last week and did not feel like I was in an ES the way I remember them.
  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    "I experienced more of California than I ever knew. In LA area it would crisscross a freeway 4-5 times in a 10 mile area by following city streets. Whoever program this system does not like freeways"

    Maybe you need to check your NAV settings. In the Navigation in my Acura 3.2TL, there are options like "Minimize Freeways", "Minimize Tollroads" etc. Maybe your NAV is set on "Minimize Freeways" ?!!! It could be worth checking it out. Your "problem" could have a "solution" as simple as that !!

  • dardson1dardson1 Posts: 696
    Lexus has moved to the slab side look.....mono-chrome....everything top to bottom painted the same color. Lexus has forever used two-toned paint (bottom and top of the profile different colors)....I'm glad I bought an 01. It's only a perception, but visually dividing the profile makes the car look longer, lower, and leaner. The fashion today is to make everything look like a 49 Mercury. I know retro is in, but that doens't make it good.
  • jjpcatjjpcat Posts: 122
    I agree w/ you about the service from that Lexus dealer. My wife and I have bought 2 Lexus from them. The price was great and they really treat us well. They told me they spent $10k on that massage chair. On the contrary, my sister who own a MB and a Porsche has much more to complain about the quality of her cars and the dealers who sold them, e.g., she got Honda and Mazda as loaners.

    I also agree with you about the wood steering wheel. It doesn't look good while it's practical harmful. It seems to me Lexus like that though, because so many new Lexus come with that.

    I am surprised about your gas mileage. For our 98 ES300, we could usually get 27-28mpg for a long freeway drive and we were driving much faster than your 62mph. If we were doing 62mpg, we might have got 29-30mpg. Note that 98 ES was rated as 19/26mpg while 2002 ES was rated as 21/29mpg.
  • Hello everyone,
    I was looking at a '99 ES300 for my wife with 16k miles in Oyster color. It looks virtually new outside and inside. They had it listed at $26.9k and the salesman offered $25.8k + TTL. This is less than the Edmunds TMV (I think about $27k). I know there is a lot of concern about the accuracy of the TMV, especially with a new model out now. The salesman mentioned also that there's a special finance rate of 4.9% for up to 66 months just for certified ES300s and RX300s.

    I have looked at other dealers on the internet in surrounding cities - and they typically had listed prices $1k more than this dealer's list.

    Any suggestions on the pricing of this car would be appreciated. It really is quite a beaty, but there may be dozens more ES300s coming off lease now with the new model out.

  • autos3autos3 Posts: 24
    As the current owner of a 00 Acura RL and a 02
    Acura TL-S, last night we drove to our local Lexus dealer and drove the new ES. WOW! We decided to trade our TL for the ES. Don't get me wrong the TL is a great car, but Acura has room for improvement with the TL. Our car is 8months old and has suffered from several annoying returns to our dealer. Our RL has been flawless and we think the RL, though 7years in current form competes well with the new ES.

    Can't wait til Saturday to pick up the new car!
This discussion has been closed.